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Passover–A Story Told in Food

This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to celebrate Passover with the family of a friend of mine–if you have never been to a Passover Seder and get a chance to attend one, do it! The celebration of Passover, an eight day holiday in the Jewish calendar, beings with the Passover Seder, a gathering with family and friends for a meal that involves the retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It is an interactive celebration that is informative, celebratory, somber, and fun.

A Passover Seder Plate

My friend’s lovely Passover Seder Plate!

A central part of this meal and storytelling is the Passover Seder Plate, a plate adorned with food items that symbolize various parts of the story of the Israelites flight from Egypt. Each of the items represents a sympolic piece of the story, from the maror, or bitter herbs, that represent the bitterness and harshness of slavery, to the charoset, a sweet, brown mixture made of nuts, grated apples, cinnamon, and wine, that symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to build the buildings of Egypt.

Food is a key element in the Passover tradition, as the story is told not just in words, but in songs, symbols, flavors, and smells. While many holidays have traditional foods, Passover is one of the few I have experienced that uses food to connect with the history of the holiday so directly. Additionally, while the actual meal served on Passover may vary from home to home, the Passover Seder Plate is virtually the same in every Jewish household, connecting the celebrations of families across the globe with a unifying tradition.

If you are interested in learning more about Passover, or teaching a young person in your life about the traditions of this food-centric holiday, there are some great books available in the Wheelock Library that can help.

Hooray! It’s Passover! is a great first introduction to the traditions of the Passover holiday, and is a great way to get young readers excited about this eight day celebration.

Why on This Night? is a haggadah, the text that establishes the order of the Passover Seder. This family friendly haggadah uses stories, songs, poems, activities, and explanations to guide kids through the traditions of Passover Seder.

Around the Passover Table is an e-cookbook that gives you over 75 recipes for the Passover holiday–happy cooking! And Happy Passover!

Worth a Thousand Words

Some people might think that a wordless picturebook is for less sophisticated readers—a “baby book” that tells a story so simple it doesn’t even need words.

But we know better!

Wordless picturebooks are akin to short, silent (very slow motion) films. They inspire a deep investment from the reader, since after all, it is the reader who creates the story from the images. Far from presenting insubstantial fluff, these books often illustrate stories that could not be as profound if told in words.

And the illustrations are glorious! A feast for the eye, wordless picturebooks communicate through color, depth, frames, character body language, and other visual details that readers might gloss over if text were present. And some new detail always appears in the images each time the book is read.

So let’s look at some! Below are three wordless picturebooks and a few of their illustrations that can be found in Wheelock Library’s collection on 2M and in other FLO libraries. Rather than tell you what happens in the books, let’s let the images speak for themselves.

Journey by Aaron Becker (J-P B383j)

journey 1 journey 2


The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (J-P P648L)

 lion mouse 1 lion mouse 2 lion mouse 3


Flotsam by David Wiesner (J-P W6365FL)

flotsam 1 flotsam 2

flotsam 3

More great wordless picturebooks to try:

 Sector 7 by David Wiesner (J-P W63s)

Bluebird by Bob Staake (J-P St329b)

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (J-P Id54f)

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (J-P L525r)

Mirror by Jeannie Baker

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole (J-P C64u)

Wave by Suzy Lee

Read Across America – SCHEDULE CHANGE

The_cat_in_the_hat_comes_back_3Due to heavy snow forecasted for Monday, March 3rd, the Read Across America story hour has been rescheduled for Friday, March 7th, from 10:30-11:30am. This is to ensure that the little ones to whom we’ll be reading can safely make it to Wheelock.

All other activities – Seuss menu in the cafeteria, lunchtime trivia, photo booth, and EarlBleck will be held as scheduled on Monday, March 3rd. We’ll see you there!

The Wocket in Your Pocket is Telling You to Read Across America!

It is back again for the 5th year in a row: Read Across America! The Wheelock College Library joins schools and libraries across the country in celebrating Dr.Seuss’s birthday and the importance of reading in the lives of young children. All the activities involved in the celebration will be held on Monday, March 3, 2014 at the Campus Center. Stop by and check out any or all of our events:


All Day Long: Seuss-Themed Menu
Dining Services will be serving items inspired by Dr.Seuss stories.

10:30am – 11:30am: Story Hour in the Wolf Room
Volunteer to read a Dr.Seuss book to kids from a local preschool. You can either sign up with Rosalind Gould,, beforehand to volunteer or just drop by during Story Hour.

10:00am – 1:00pm: Photo Booth
Pose with a Seussified Lucy Wheelock while Adrienne Kisner, RD Extraordinaire, takes your picture.

10:00am – 1:00pm: EarlBleck Station
Experiment with Oobleck and magnetic Seuss poetry, provided by the Earl Center.

1:00pm -2:00pm: Children’s Book Trivia in the Dining Hall
Awesome prizes for the winning team! Emceed by Bryan McGrath.


Win during #wheelockfinals

How do you study during #wheelockfinals?  In your dorm room?  On a quiet floor of the library until 1:00 AM?  Do you prefer to be alone?  Or would you rather have seven buddies close by, sharing a giant bag of Cheetos?

The library is running a contest to coincide with our extended hours, so show us how you study!  Post a photo to Instagram with the tag #wheelockfinals, and you’ll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card!